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What is "GH"?
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stephenhodgson
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Joined: 10 Aug 2004

PostPosted: 2005.04.20(Wed)4:47    Post subject: What is "GH"? Reply with quote

hi what is GH ???? is it important in the tank ???
becuase iv had my fish for 2 and bit years and iv never heard of it ? Confused
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benedictj
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Location: new york, ny

PostPosted: 2005.04.20(Wed)6:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

GH is a measurement of magnessium and calcium in your water. It is also known as General Hardness or total hardness. Its importance basically lies in compatability-That is, some fish come from water with little to no hardness (like most Tetras and Rams). Conversely, other fish, primarily african rift lake cichlids, come from water which is extremely hard. Mismatching fish to their needs in terms of hardness can have detrimental effects in extreme cases, can dramatically shorten their lifespans and has been known to inhibit breeding. (This is speaking in general, there are many fish who can adapt to sub optimal hardness).

Also, there is KH, aka Carbonate Hardness, aka Buffering capacity. This is arguably more important that GH. In a nutshell, KH represents your water's ability to maintain a stable pH. It is particularly important in planted tanks with CO2, as it regulates the pH dropping effects of injecting CO2 (which is essentially an acid).
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stephenhodgson
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Joined: 10 Aug 2004

PostPosted: 2005.04.20(Wed)6:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

how do you test for KH and GH ? Confused in your tank ?
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benedictj
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Location: new york, ny

PostPosted: 2005.04.20(Wed)6:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are test kits readily available for both. The most reliable, IME, are the Aqua Pharmaceuticals kits.

Also, once you set yourself up with the necessary kits, it is worthy to note that some measure concentration in german degrees rather than ppm. To convert between the two just keep in mind that 1 german degree hardness = 17.9 ppm (or mg/L)
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mshortri
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Joined: 12 Jan 2005
Location: Tampa, FL

PostPosted: 2005.04.20(Wed)6:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are plenty of test kits on teh market - I used the 5-in-1 test kits when starting out, which include GH, KH, nitrite, nitrate, and pH. Then I noticed how stable my KH, GH, and pH remained, and quit using them. But, my water is "liquid rock" - YMMV.

You could also just take a water sample into your LFS and get them to test it for you. Many LFS will do this for free, some charge like a dollar to do a full spectrum test.
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